Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, British Fiction Series)
Captain Bob Singleton was stolen as a child and reared by the gypsy who bought him. His first voyages, which began when he was age twelve, were to Newfoundland. On one of these voyages, the ship was captured by Turks. The Turkish vessel was subsequently captured by a Portuguese ship. After many months on shore, Singleton sailed as a cabin boy from Portugal on a voyage to Goa on the Malabar coast. At this time, Singleton began to learn the arts of navigation, and he also became an accomplished thief.
On the return voyage, a storm drove the ship to the shore of Madagascar. There Singleton enthusiastically joined a group of malcontents who plotted the harsh captain’s death, and he barely escaped hanging. However, he and twenty-six companions, with guns, tools, and provisions, were abandoned on shore. The natives were friendly and traded food with the sailors in exchange for metal charms cut out of beaten coins, as they had no knowledge of the value of currency. After exploring the island and the shore, the party was able to build a frigate and sail for the mainland. ..FT.-Landing at Mozambique, they decided to trek across the entire unknown continent to the Atlantic. They began the journey with buffaloes loaded with their provisions and with some sixty captured natives as guides and bearers. Singleton was by this time their appointed leader. At first, they marched only when travel by river was impossible. By hunting and foraging, they survived well enough...
(The entire section is 1230 words.)
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